June 13, 2006

Sayonara, St. Louist

WARNING: The following is an extremely St. Louis-centric post. For those of you expecting more of my usual shtick, I'm taking a one-day sabbatical. Thank you for your patience.
When I first moved to St. Louis, it was incredibly difficult for me to connect to anyone - part of it was living in a friend's basement for six months while I regained financial footing. (I still owe you, pal, and I know you're reading). However, once I got into my own place, got settled in, began making friends at work...I needed more.

Thanks to a co-worker, I was eventually linked to Metropolis (where I served on their board for a year and a half...but more on that later), but at first, I came across the Metropolist, the Craigslist of its time, run by a gentleman named Jeff - funny, sardonic, and not willing to take any guff. Eventually, however, the list needed to be split off into several others - including the St. Louist (which served as a clearinghouse for discussion, issues, and grassroots linking), the Metropolist (which was Metropolis-related) and several others too numerous to mention. In his own way, Jeff was an unsung hero, and his tireless work in maintaining several lists helped people connect in a city where, if you didn't share a high school, you were screwed.

The St. Louist had a character all its own - sure, there were the usual beating-a-dead-horse arguments, but it was a great way to learn about what was happening in the city. It was the ultimate democracy - all you needed was an e-mail, and you were connected. It was a way for anyone to be "in the loop" as it were - I had e-mailed yesterday morning seeking the name of a new salsa club. It also introduced me (via text, at least) to several key people, including two St. Louis bloggers. If it weren't for the St. Louist, my life might have been radically different, and I probably might "stayed" rather than "lived" in St. Louis (to use local slang).

So, I was sad to read on the list (and also at the Arch City Chronicle) that the St. Louist was folding. It's like your favorite bar, or hot dog stand, or hangout closing - you know time has to move on, but part of you questions it. Like the fact that my old record store in Chicago is now a Walgreens. Or the old smoke shop where I first purchased comics is now....a Walgreens. (Both are within a mile of each other). It's understandable, but at the same time, a reminder that everything has its time, even internet e-mail lists.

Thanks, Jeff, from one dedicated reader. There's a lot I owe you.

I'll start with a beer.

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